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Social Media Use Sparks Real World Actions

Among the top five social platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest — Facebook drives the most offline actions . / Credit: Online engagement linked to offline activity image via

The thought is father to the deed, at least when it comes to the relationship between online social interactions and offline activities. A new survey shows that more than half of users on four of the top five social platforms have taken offline action directly as a result of an online interaction. The findings suggest that businesses and organizations can grow their customer base, increase revenue and drive greater participation by linking online behaviors to offline activity.

The three most popular offline actions taken as a result of online engagement are to contact a person directly, attend an event and participate in an activity such as a sport or a class, according to a survey of 500 consumers commissioned by ACTIVE Network, which develops cloud-based activity and participant management technologies.

The survey also found mobile apps are having an increasing influence on offline action; 44 percent of smartphone users report using a mobile app to help them achieve a personal goal such as improving their health, fitness, knowledge, education or appearance.

Among the top five social platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest — Facebook drives the most offline actions, the survey found. Respondents reported that it leads to the most direct contacts or in-person meetings and also prompts the most donations to a cause.

While Twitter is second from the bottom in driving offline actions, the engagement it does inspire is active in nature — 25 percent of Twitter users have participated in an activity and 30 percent have attended an event as a result of online interactions, the survey found.

Business networking site LinkedIn is the most successful platform that's responsible for a job change, the survey found. Surprisingly, social photo sharing site Pinterest is the second most likely platform to prompt a job change. Pinterest was also the platform responsible for driving the most respondents to make a lifestyle change, just ahead of Facebook.

"While it’s easy to measure online interactions in clicks or shares, it is very hard to measure resulting offline actions and their economic value to a business," said Kristin Carroll, vice president of corporate and consumer marketing at ACTIVE. "The closest most companies have come to measuring the impact of social media is tracking purchases generated or putting an arbitrary dollar value on a click. But, as this survey shows, users can take many other offline actions that have an economic impact, and can lead directly to an increase in sales of offline activity."

 Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.